Leeds fan launches new retro sportswear brand with 80’s inspired bomber jacket
23 Nov 2021 09:49 pm, by YorkshireSquare
Born out of a frustration at the quality and range of retro sportswear available, a young Leeds United fan has put his background in product design and clothing production to good use over lockdown. After 18 months of perfecting designs they are now set to launch SPORTING VINTAGE™, the new name in retro sportswear.
At 25 Mason missed out on most of our last stay in the Premier League, only starting to go to games during our downfall. His first memories include relegation and the banishment of his first Leeds United shirt with ‘Smith 17’ emblazoned on the back. After suffering play-off defeat and a further relegation Mason jokes his glory days of watching Leeds were the Beckford and Kandol era, sometimes it felt like it might not get better than that.
But obviously, that all changed when Bielsa came in and the memories we have from that promotion will be hard to top. With our place back in the Premier League secured Mason can now reflect on the League 1 days, traveling home and away with his dad and brother, as a period when some of my best memories watching Leeds were made.
Aside from following Leeds Mason is a keen collector of ’80s and '90s merchandise. This started with finding old pieces that his Dad had collected over the years and kept in the house and then progressed to scouring eBay on a near-daily basis in the hope a Leeds fan is having a clear-out. His main thing is jackets, but if you count all the scarfs, hats, drill tops and t-shirts in his collection it’s probably close to 100.
Wearing the gear to games always draws attention, ‘where did you get that’ or ‘where can I get one of those’ he’s asked but the answer is generally that you can’t. People throw things away over the years not realising the value, some of the items are so rare now. But he knew from the number of people asking about them that the appetite is there, and this is where the drive to launch SPORTING VINTAGE™ has come from.
Mason is all too aware that the idea of a retro sportswear brand is not new, but previous offerings have lacked in execution when it comes to replicating what makes vintage so good. Other brands tend to stop with a retro design, not following through to how the garment fits and printing them on thin modern fabric. For Mason this is missing the point of why retro sportswear is so good. The heavy feel of an 80s shirt and the oversized fit of a 90’s jacket is part of the appeal, and this should be implemented into reissues.
The first release is the ‘88 Bomber which is directly influenced by the late 80’s and early 90’s bomber jackets from brands like Umbro and Campri that always featured statement embroidery pieces on the back. Another inspiration for the project are fanmade/homemade jackets with the addition of sew on patches that can be added to the jackets to customise them. These patches are inspired by reoccurring 80’s designs and have been added as a nod to a lost trend.
All SPORTING VINTAGE’s projects go beyond design and look to focus on the other aspects that make vintage garments so unique, the heavy fabrics and the retrofits. Their process is quite unique in that they take true 80’s and 90’s pieces and deconstruct them to achieve the same construction. In the ‘88 bomber, you’ll notice a retro stitching style, an oversized fit and heavyweight nylon that you’d struggle to find on any modern sports jacket.
To celebrate the launch on Thursday at 7pm we are giving one of the ‘88 bomber jackets away. For details of how to enter check out our Twitter post.